Report: Odell Beckham Jr. Expected to Be Released by Browns on Friday

Doric SamNovember 5, 2021

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) walks off of the field prior to the start of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Cleveland. The star wide receiver was excused from practice on Wednesday, Nov. 3, a day after his father caused a stir before the trade deadline by sharing a video of quarterback Baker Mayfield not throwing passes to his son. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)
AP Photo/Kirk Irwin

The Cleveland Browns and Odell Beckham Jr. are reportedly set to part ways.

According to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, the Browns plan to release Beckham on Friday.

"The key word in this is 'plan,' because plans can always change," Florio wrote. "As Thursday night comes to a conclusion, however, we’re told that the Browns currently plan to release receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Friday."

Florio added that the move will likely be preceded "by a revised contract that reduces the team’s obligation to pay Beckham, if he’s not claimed on waivers and becomes eligible for the balance of his salary termination pay." Beckham would want to avoid a salary reduction so substantial that a team tries to claim him off waivers.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Browns are working on converting Beckham's base salary into a signing bonus, which would make it easier for a team to claim him on waivers.

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN added:

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Browns and Odell Beckham have discussed a new contract structure that would reduce his base salary as low as around $1M, per source. All of this isn't done, both sides must agree, but possible Browns eat much of remaining $7.25M and a team inherits vet minimum salary off waivers

The receiver would become an unrestricted free agent if he does clear waivers. He would then be free to sign with any team as early as next week.

The reported impending release would put the cap on a tumultuous week for Beckham and the Browns. The team could not find a trade destination for the three-time Pro Bowler before the NFL trade deadline passed.

Beckham's father, Odell Beckham Sr., posted an Instagram video Tuesday showing plays where Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield failed to find the 29-year-old when he appeared to be open. That same day, Ohio native LeBron James tweeted "#FreeOBJ."

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Wednesday that the organization was having ongoing conversations with Beckham's representatives regarding his future with the team. According to ESPN's Jake Trotter, Stefanski told other members of the roster that Beckham would no longer be on the team. The receiver was excused from practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

Cleveland releasing Beckham would be a much-needed end to ill-timed off-field drama. The Browns (4-4) will face the Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) in an important AFC North matchup Sunday.